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S&P downgrades De Blonay’s £438m Jupiter Financial Opps fund

Guy DeBlonay Blonay 480

Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Guy De Blonay’s £438m Jupiter Financial Opportunities fund.

De Blonay’s fund has been lowered from a platinum rating to gold, with S&P citing lacklustre performance and mixed stock-selection.

De Blonay (pictured) took over the management of the Financial Opportunities fund from Philip Gibbs in January 2011. The fund is down 22.6 per cent over the past three years but is up 11.5 per cent in the 12 months to October 8.

S&P says: “The slight improvement in year-to-date performance is welcome, but we note that the peer-relative ranking is lacklustre and stock-selection mixed. It also seems the manager is making less use of colleague Gibbs than before.”

S&P has noted that De Blonay has increased his exposure to special situations stocks recently, adding a number of small positions in more distressed names. The move is designed to spread risk to different stock-specific drivers and the holdings in the portfolio have risen from 75 to 89 with turnover likely to increase due to the tactical nature of some of these ideas.

De Blonay has repositioned his fund to tackle issues such as concerns around transparency of asset quality in banks and increasing regulation. This has seen a reduction of his holding in the likes of Southern European banks and investments in areas that exploit technological advances, such as increasing credit card usage.

S&P says: “The universe of stocks fitting into his themes has been broadened to include several holdings where the link to financial services seems tenuous at best – names in the gaming, betting and technology space.

“The explanation for the broadening of the investment universe is unconvincing and the fund includes a few names in the gaming, betting and technology space that investors would not expect to see.”

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